Monday, February 9, 2015

Dinner at Osha

We went to Osha for dinner on Saturday night.  The entrance was massive, with incredibly high ceilings and impossibly tall doors.
The front desk:
The place looked like a super fancy nightclub - hot pink neon lights, gold designs, gilt, swoopy curtains and all kinds of fancy frippery.

The restaurant was supposed to specialize in Thai fusion cuisine with an emphasis on molecular gastronomy.  The doorway was lit up with rows and rows of Moet & Chandon champagne bottles.
Check out the ceiling, an ever changing motif of lights and patterns:
Despite its appearances that seemed to indicate the contrary, the food was really quite good.  I wouldn't say that they captured the molecular gastronomy movement entirely (it seemed more for show than anything substantive), however, it was a solid effort.

To start, the amuse bouche of watermelon and honeydew ball on a bed of flavored salt, infused with seaweed and fish roe.

The dancing king prawn - very humble in appearance but this appetizer packed an amazing punch.  The raw shrimp sat on a bed of jalapeño and basil puree (barely visible in this picture) which left your entire mouth burning with an oxymoronic chili heat that was also quite cool.  The texture of the shrimp contrasted nicely with the crisp wafer thin radish and cucumber.
 This was a trio of soft shell crab, resting on a thin bed of guacamole:

This was the surprisingly good flash fried squid topped with thin slices of chili pepper and a generous spray of lime.  I think we were all slightly puzzled by why the dish needed to come resting on top of plastic wrap, however.  I suspect it allowed the dish to appear as if it were "smoking", but it seemed incongruous given the faultless design of all the other dishes.
The slow cooked egg with flavorful bits of sesame, fish roe, shallots and radish.
We ordered two entrees, the Chilean sea bass steamed in a wok with napa cabbage, ginger, scallion, mushroom and goji berries (a very Chinese fusion version):
 And the lamb shank, slow braised in a cinnamon nutmeg spicy gravy with mint, slivered almonds and pickled red onions (a rather Indian fusion version):
Yes, that is a smoking stick of cinnamon that you see in the picture.  They smashed the cinnamon stick into the gravy directly at the table to infuse the sauce with a lingering smoky cinnamon flavor.  That was a cool move.

I was also very pleasantly surprised by their rice, which they served in a scooped out and steamed coconut shell.  The rice seemed to have been infused with coconut.  I'm not sure how they achieved this heavenly effect, but I suspect they might have steamed the rice with coconut water instead of plain water -- something I would definitely try after having sampled this magic rice.

The restaurant ran out of the coconut creme brûlée (in case you can't tell, our entire party is kind of obsessed with coconut) so we got the lemongrass panna cotta instead.  It was creamy and airy and embodied the right proportion of tart to sweet.
 All in all, I was quite satisfied with my meal. 

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